Residents of Apapa and Ajeromi were left reeling when a vital Ijoba bridge connecting their town to the outside world collapsed, plunging the residents into a nightmarish commuting ordeal.
On May 16, the bridge connecting Lagos Island and Iddo to Ijora and Apapa succumbed to its demise. According to initial investigations, the collapse was attributed to the malicious activities of vandals, who compromised the bridge’s structural integrity.
The Federal Ministry of Works swiftly dispatched their contractor to assess the damage and initiate repairs, but the duration of the road closure remains uncertain.
Residents of Apapa and Ajeromi find themselves ensnared in an arduous and time-consuming commute as they strive to return home. The closure of the vital bridge has redirected traffic through the already congested Costain route, which is perpetually crowded with fuel tankers and trailers en route to the fuel depots and Apapa port.
Brig-Gen Ayo-Vaughan (Rtd), Chairman of the Apapa GRA Residents Association (AGRA), expressed his deep concern, stating, “It is very unfortunate that the collapse of the bridge exacerbates our already dire situation. The ongoing repairs have significantly restricted our movement, turning what used to be a 20-minute journey from Lagos Island to Apapa into a grueling four-hour ordeal, sometimes even longer.”
Mr. Chukwudi Obi, a businessman who relied on the bridge for transportation of goods, expressed his frustration. “This collapse is not just an inconvenience; it has dealt a severe blow to our livelihoods,” Obi lamented. “We need immediate action to rebuild the bridge and restore normalcy to our lives.”
The collapse of the bridge has cut off Apapa and Ajeromi communities, causing immense disruption to daily life. The road has been closed indefinitely, leaving residents facing arduous and lengthy detours to reach their destinations. The Federal Ministry of Works has assured the community that their contractor is on-site to evaluate the damage and carry out the necessary repairs. However, the timeline for reopening the bridge remains uncertain.
To alleviate the plight of the affected residents, AGRA has engaged in discussions with the management of the National Art Theatre, seeking access for residents from Costain to Ijora Oloye. This alternative route would alleviate the burden on the congested road and ease the hardships faced by commuters.